Positive Outlook of Companies Limited by Labour Costs and Lack of Labour Force
The Chamber has conducted an annual economic survey among its members. The survey is a part of the annual survey of the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry. In total, 52,000 European entrepreneurs responded to the survey. In Estonia, 551 entrepreneurs participated and highlighted labour-related problems as the main challenges and bottlenecks.
The Estonian entrepreneurs that responded to the survey said for the second consecutive year that the biggest challenge is the increasing labour costs, aspects related to labour force are among the biggest problems. Similarly, Latvian and Lithuanian entrepreneurs set labour problems out as the main challenge.
Domestic market and export expectations are rather positive
Estonian entrepreneurs are generally rather positive about the coming year. Although 51.9% of the respondents find that the domestic market volumes will remain similar to those of this year, 37.4% of the respondents highlighted that they expect the domestic market to grow. Only 10.7% of the respondents find that there could be a decline on the domestic market.
Similarly to the developments on the domestic market, entrepreneurs are rather optimistic regarding exports. 51% of the respondents find that exports will remain on the same level, but 39.4% find that exports will grow and 9% of the respondents forecast decline in exports.
The biggest challenges include labour costs (70% of the respondents), followed by lack of qualified labour (64% of the respondents). 60.9% of the respondents find that the number of their employees will not change next year, 33.6% find that the number of their employees will grow and 5.5% see decrease in the number of employees. In addition to problems related to labour, entrepreneurs are also worried about the growing prices of energy and raw materials, which was highlighted by 29% of the respondents.
Among the health crisis impacts highlighted by Estonian entrepreneurs are mainly problems related to supply chains, followed by travel restrictions, national restrictions and changes in consumer behaviour. The entrepreneurs who responded, do not see remote work or servicing existing loans as significant problems.
European entrepreneurs hope for quick recovery
The results of the survey show that generally, European entrepreneurs see the coming year in positive terms and they expect domestic markets and exports to grow. Furthermore, it is expected that the postponed investments will be realised, which will facilitate faster recovery and digitalisation, which in turn will allow ensuring longer sustainability.
The Chamber’s economic survey is a part of the annual survey of the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Eurochambres) conducted in 29 European countries for already the 29th time. It is Europe’s largest economic survey. The detailed results of the survey are available at the Eurochambres homepage www.eurochambres.eu.